One of the big problems I find with offering SEO solutions is that SEO is often an afterthought. People create their website, either DIY or using a web designer they like, then come to us afterwards, so we can “SEO their website”
One of the other problems I find online is that so much SEO talk is geared towards selling SEO. Clients are sold a dream and possibly an SEO package they don’t need. A small local business may not need a 6 month SEO campaign. An audit with the errors fixed can make a huge difference to a website and is much better for the bank balance too.
SEO stands for “search engine optimisation.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.searchengineland.com
SEO is challenging
All SEO is challenging no matter what you see on social media posts about doing a few little things & getting 1000x better results. SEO requires consistency and most of all it’s not set and forget. Every website has different needs. An SEO project always starts with Audits and lots of them
In 2010, Google made 516 algorithm changes. That number increased to 1,653 in 2016 and to 3,234 in 2018. We don’t have data for the last couple of years, but still, you can bet that the number is continually going up.Neil Patel
A few statistics
- 71% of commercial buyers begin their research with generic Google searches
- In 2019 Google accounted for just over 75% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo at 2.77%. (Source: NetMarketShare)
- Of the billions of searches that happen on a given day, 15% of daily searches are new to Google. (Source: Google)
- 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.(Source: Databox)
- SEO has 20X more traffic opportunities than PPC on both mobile and desktop. (Sparktoro, 2019)
Many new digital agencies are coming into the market place selling Web Development & SEO Services, yet they don’t have the knowledge, skillset or experience to get results, they are simply a salesperson outsourcing to cheap overseas freelancers for profit.
Let’s not forget all the SEO gurus you see with Ads on Facebook telling you to buy their course for $97 and you will be top of google in 3 days. Sorry but it’s not possible to be top of google in 3 days unless you buy Google Ads.
I started learning SEO in 2010 and in my opinion, it’s important to start with SEO before you build your website as it saves a lot of time!
Having a site built around your keywords with a great technical build and on-page SEO from the outset truly helps. I have built sites that are ranked and indexed with some keywords on page 1 in 6 weeks. No tricks, no hacks simply achieved by creating a site using google guidelines. No ongoing SEO packages required by the client.
Whilst SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, clients often find the time it takes to see get great organic traffic gains frustrating. Particularly clients with businesses in a competitive niche.
In this post, I am going to break down various parts of SEO to give you an overview of SEO, why it’s not easy and why it’s not quick. SEO is a great marketing channel with excellent ROI for your business long term.
How to hire an SEO
Often in Facebook groups, I see discussions of recommendations for website creators, where friendly customer service, price or prettiness are the deciding factors rather than technical expertise.
I use the term website creator as many of the offerings for websites are neither designers nor developers and in today’s highly competitive market, you need a web solution that is both technical skill and SEO know-how.
I recommend using a website developer who has SEO skills or if you have a big budget as they do in the corporate world, you can pay a complete team; A graphic designer, UX designer, web developer, brand guru and technical SEO 🙂
Website Designers are often graphic designers so may have a less technical and a more graphic-based approach to websites.
All SEO’s are not created equal
I love the saying ‘all experts were once a beginner’ and whilst some who I have worked with tout me as an expert but SEO moves daily and there is so much to learn all the time, I often feel like a beginner.
I am an experienced SEO and know the SEO goalposts move every day, the only way to stay on top of SEO is daily reading, research and testing. Some days I am overwhelmed I have done it for years.
It’s not simple, it’s actually really hard to achieve and keep your google rankings. It’s a daily work to stay in the top spots on SERPs.
When you pay for professional SEO services you are paying for expertise and experience that will enhance your online business. You are increasing your market share and hopefully decreasing that of your competitors.
SEO does not guarantee you a page 1 position 1 for every keyword of your choice.
Site Performance & UX
Most companies nowadays use the WordPress platform due to its flexibility, scalability and robustness. The WordPress CMS allows clients to update their website themselves.
WordPress is open source with almost unlimited options for your website. Choosing the correct options helps your SEO, choose the wrong options or adding new options to a current site can change your SEO dramatically.
Making a WordPress site simple, streamlined & lightweight is far more difficult than you can imagine. The foundations to the sites I build has taken my years of knowledge and as well as 100s of hours to research, test & perfect the perfect back end.
Whilst adding lots of stuff makes the look technical to clients, for SEO, quality coding and site performance is the key to seeing those SEO gains. A lightweight, fast website is where experience shows in a WordPress Build.
Anyone can create with WordPress but technical skill is shown in performance reports
You may need a new website
One of the worst parts of my job is telling some new clients, the only way their site will be shown on page 1 of Google for the queries they would like to show for, is for their website to have a lot of development work and in some case, they may need a totally new site developed.
Last year we had a client that came to use disgruntled after going to a competitor. The client had spent $3500 in January 2019 for a new website.
The client already had a website and had some good organic traffic, but they were told the new site would see their rankings drop and in around 3 months they would come back… Which does not make sense to me all?
3 months is what it takes for a new site to start to see some good traction, not an aged domain, so going backwards was due to poor web development and lack of technical SEO skills.
A well developed website will increase rankings
The only time we see a decline is when going from an unsecured site (no SSL) to a site with SSL. Google see those as 2 different sites so https will be classed as a new site but it will recover as SSL is required by google to rank high.
However, the site I just just mentioned, already had SSL.
After 5 months, spending $5000 on SEO on top of the cost of the site, the site was still losing rankings & traffic; after spending $8500 they were losing business… So the client asked me to take a look.
Oh my! It was not good! I could easily see why the site was dropping like a stone on search. The backend development was terrible, it was essentially a whitelisted 2016 WordPress theme stuck together with plugins. So bad!
The former company was let go, I spent 2 weeks recreating the site. After migration, the site went up an average of 12 google positions in a couple of days! Much better than where the site was in January.
We stopped working with that client due to Covid 19 but I looked the other day and their rankings are still really good. That’s due to our build and the SEO foundations we put into the site over the year we worked with them.
All websites are not created equal
A site that is created using Google best practises will rank on search engines and bring you, clients, using google site rather than hobbyist trawling ad & review sites. Clients who find you through your unique website that is tailor-made for you and your unique business.
Companies selling websites often have pretty portfolios and great package deals. These can look like bargains but often when you ask for something you are upsold to ‘custom’ before you bat your lashes.
What may have started out as a good deal or even a bargain turns into a costly website that is your personal taste.
Google may not share your personal taste nor enjoy the poor coding of the site you adore.
Many businesses are created by choosing a website template the owner finds visually pleasing and not realising that is not the best way to do things if they wish to rank high on google.
Unfortunately whilst the sites may be graphically very pretty, without a lot of work & additional cost they won’t index & to get to page 1 they may need to be recreated in line with Google best practises.
SEO is not set & forget
The initial cost of SEO may turn some businesses off SEO altogether but if you are going to have a website, you want people to see it & that’s what SEO does. Helps people looking for your service, to find it.
When looking for an SEO you want to work with someone who is passionate about SEO, someone who lives and breaths SEO as google changes daily & what may have worked last month or last year no longer applies.
SEO will increase your income
The purpose of a website is to increase your business, brand & of course to increase your earnings!
A website is not an extra ad, it’s should be your crowning glory, the masterpiece of your brand and business.
A pretty site done with a template may be a bargain for only $500 but it’s not much use if nobody sees the site except those people who click a link in your social media or find you via a paid advertisement.
Often the package deals make up their low buy-in cost with high priced hosting.
SEO will increase your brand, business and bank balance
In 2020 Google wants your site to be the best technology possible! Everything from a website code to the hosting can make a difference to your SEO gains.
Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely (near impossible) that a poorly developed site with rank page 1 position 1 on google for any competitive keyword.
SEO is Strategic
First and foremost when creating a strong SEO strategy for your Brand, you website should be developed search engine optimised and also for your individual business needs.
The website and marketing need be aligned with your overall business goals.
Your SEO strategy is developed to attract the traffic most likely to convert into revenue-generating customers for your business.
Having visitors to your website is good. Having visitors who are likely to want what you are offering is far better.
A good SEO strategy doesn’t focus simply on bringing visitors to your website. It focuses on bringing the right visitors for your unique brand and business
Your strategy will depend on the intent and purpose of your business and the goals you are aiming for.
You will also tailor your SEO strategy according to the type of website you plan to build.
The foundation of an SEO website design is a clear vision of what action you want your visitors to take
A Search Engine optimised website design is not for ranking but for visitors to your site
Google best practises are people best practises so an SEO website design will attract people through search engines and keep them on the site (dwell time is a ranking factor)
10 Essentials for an optimised website
Make sure you take care of the following
- Mobile Optimised
- Quality Hosting and fast site speed (pages under 3s)
- Responsive; Works on Desktop, Tablet and all mobile screen sizes
- Keyword optimised content and meta
- Clean, minimal UX that is easy to navigate for both users and search engine spiders
- Each page serving a specific purpose
- Optimised for Local search
- Optimised images
At Minx Digital, we don’t design purely for search engine rankings, but we kinda do 🙂
We work with our clients website vision and include on-page SEO, off-page SEO & Technical SEO. We build responsive with a focus on mobile. Mobile is how to google indexes & also the majority of client view sites from their mobile.
Our client’s websites not only keep visitors on the site and returning to the site, but they also generate enthusiasm for our clients brand.
I hope you found this blog helpful